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PART OF ISLINGTON BLACK HISTORY MONTH
‘Who was Henry Muoria?’ with Peter Muoria
Wednesday 29th October, 7pm
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Forces Watch and Veterans for Peace present: ‘Confronting a Culture of Militarism’  with Steve Pratt, David Gee, Jim Radford and Walter Heaton
Monday 3rd November, 7pm
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'Did You Ever Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows?' with former Weatherman Jeff Laster
Wednesday 12th November, 7pm
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'Bhopal: Facing 30' with Francesca Moore and Colin Toogood
Wednesday 19th November, 7pm
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'Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self' with Kajsa Ekis Ekman
Thursday 20th November, 7pm
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'Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West' with Agata Pyzik
Wednesday 26th November, 7pm
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Para-academia’ with Deborah Withers, Alex Wardrop, and Charlotte Cooper
Saturday 6th December, 6.30pm
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‘Afghanistan: Mission Accomplished? The legacy of 14 years of war’ with Maya Evans
Wednesday 10th December, 7pm
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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

 

PART OF ISLINGTON BLACK HISTORY MONTH
‘Who was Henry Muoria?’ with Peter Muoria
Wednesday 29th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A discussion of the life of Henry Muoria, Kenyan political thinker, writer, and activist, who published pamphlets and newspapers that were highly influential in the anti-colonial struggle of Kenya in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and whose radicalism stood in contrast to the relative conservatism of Jomo Kenyatta, who became Kenya's first President.

Henry Muoria spent much of his later life living in Islington, as his life became increasingly under threat in the ferment of the oppressive regime at home. Henry’s son, Peter Muoria, co-author of book ‘Writing for Kenya: the Life and Works of Henry Muoria’, will share his insights into the family and political life and legacy of his courageous father.  


PERFORMANCE, DISCUSSION & MUSIC
Forces Watch and Veterans for Peace present:
‘Confronting a Culture of Militarism’

with Steve Pratt, David Gee, Jim Radford and Walter Heaton

Monday 3rd November, 7pm
Free Entry but donations to Forces Watch and Veterans for Peace will be appreciated.

In the run up to Remembrance Sunday, Forces Watch and VFP UK invite you to an evening of performance, discussion and music.

Steve Pratt is an artist and former SAS soldier. ‘About the Making of a Dangerous Individual’ is a powerful spoken word performance based on Steve’s childhood, service in the army and afterwards. The performance is backed by an atmospheric solo guitar.

In his new book, ‘Spectacle, Reality, Resistance: Confronting a culture of militarism’, published by ForcesWatch, David Gee takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, exploring these dynamics – distance, romance, control – in three essays, accompanied by three shorter pieces about the cultural treatment of war and resistance to the government’s increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war. David Gee will be joined by Ben Griffin of Veterans For Peace to explore what the public act of remembrance has become and how we can challenge the militarism it represents. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Jim Radford is the youngest surviving veteran of D-Day and has been active in the peace movement for over 50 years. Jim will tell stories and sing songs inspired by his experience in the Royal Navy and the peace movement. Jim is a member of Veterans For Peace.

Walter Heaton served with the British Army in Malaya and was active in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. Walter will tell stories and sing a few songs inspired by his experiences.

 

TALK
'Did You Ever Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows?' with former Weatherman Jeff Laster

Wednesday 12th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was an American radical left organisation founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Originally called Weatherman, the group became known colloquially as the Weathermen.

Weatherman organized in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

With revolutionary positions characterised by black power and opposition to the Vietnam War, the group conducted a campaign of bombings through the mid-1970s and took part in actions such as the jailbreak of Dr.Timothy Leary. The "Days of Rage", their first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot in Chicago timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970, the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government.

To mark the Weatherman's 45th anniversary former Weatherman Jeff Laster will discuss whether Weatherman (and other violent protest groups such as Red Army/Red Brigades/Angry Brigade/Class War) were ever truly relevant to radical political change or, as Jeff puts it, “were they just a bunch of Che Guevera wannabee kids”?

Various books on Weatherman/Weather Underground will be on sale.

 

BOOK LAUNCH
'Bhopal: Facing 30' with Francesca Moore and Colin Toogood

Wednesday 19th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

‘Bhopal: Facing 30’ is the culmination of a photographic project that portrays the site of the 1984 Bhopal disaster and the people that continued to be affected, with the book being produced to commemorate the 30th anniversary.

On the night of the 2nd December 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate. None of the six safety systems designed to contain such a leak were operational, allowing the gas to spread throughout the city of Bhopal. Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 25,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant site.

The first part of the project depicts the entire boundary wall of Union Carbide, the disaster site. Supposedly creating a barrier between what is safe, and what is not, the images expose the level of the walls degradation, which allows easy access to toxins harmful to human health and the environment. There are cavernous holes in the wall at ground level, steps and ledges that lead up and over the wall, security gates left open, parts where the wall is only knee high. The perimeter wall has rows and rows of residents’ houses backing on to it. Children clamber over the wall or pass through the holes – getting to what appears an appealing grassy spot for a game of cricket. Photographed from a child’s height, who cannot see the dangers of the abandoned factory within, each image of the wall joins the next, forming a continuum when presented.

Whilst the wall represents 30 years of pain and suffering, the residents surrounding the contaminated site appeared to be resilient and optimistic. To reflect this perception, the wall is presented with a series of formal family portraits of the people who live in the slums that surround the disaster site. The portraits reference the traditional Indian studio portraits usually acquired by wealthy higher castes, and given the opportunity, the people of Bhopal could register their own dignity, values and resilience through the medium of the family portrait.


The people of Bhopal are not victims as a result of their own actions, or simply through poverty; they were subject to a system that facilitated the economic growth of a multinational company, at the expense of life and the environment – as if less important or disposable. For this reason I photographed the families with the belief that they are as good as anyone else – as good as anyone who works for Union Carbide for example, or Dow Chemical, who now own the Union Carbide plant, but refuse responsibility for its liabilities, or the Indian Government; or you or me. Bhopal: Facing 30 represents those people affected, and that continue to be affected to this day 30 years on, not as victims, but as equal humans.  

Francesca is a freelance photographer whose personal work stems from interests in people and the environment. With an MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging, Francesca draws on her scientific background to portray humanitarian, social and environmental issues.  

Joined by Colin Toogood, campaigns manager for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, Francesca will discuss her work in the context of the on-going saga for justice and environmental remediation 30 years after the worlds’ worst industrial disaster.

BOOK TALK
'Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self' with Kajsa Ekis Ekman

Thursday 20th November, 7pm

PLEASE NOTE: TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT MUST BE BOUGHT IN ADVANCE, AT £3 EACH FROM EVENTBRITE
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-of-being-and-being-bought-tickets-13553580123

Join us for this rare opportunity to hear Swedish feminist Ekman discuss her polemic on the psychology of sex work, in which she also criticizes the booming surrogacy industry.

 

In her book ‘Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self’ (Spinifex Press, 2014) Kajsa Ekis Ekman draws on Marxist and feminist analyses to argue that “the Self must be split from the body to make it possible to sell your body without selling yourself. The body becomes sex. Sex becomes a service. The story of the sex worker says: the Split Self is not only possible, it is the ideal”.

Turning to the practice of surrogate motherhood, Kajsa Ekis Ekman identifies the same components: that the woman is neither connected to her own body nor to the child she grows in her body and gives birth to. Surrogacy becomes an extended form of prostitution. In this capitalist creation story, the parent is the one who pays. The product sold is not sex but a baby.

Please join us for a chance to discuss the issues with Kajsa Ekis Ekman. Kasja is a Swedish journalist, writer and activist. She is the author of several works about the financial crisis, women's rights and Marxism. She writes for the major Swedish daily Dagnes Nyheter and is an op-ed columnist at the leftwing daily ETC.

BOOK TALK
'Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West
'

with Agata Pyzik

Wednesday 26th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Agata will be speaking about the continued cultural divide that separates East and West Europe.

The passengers of the low-budget airlines go East for stag parties, and they go West for work; but the East stays East, and West stays West. Caricatures abound - the Polish plumber in the tabloids, the New Cold War in the broadsheets and the endless search for 'the new Berlin' for hipsters.

Against the stereotypes, Agata Pyzik peers behind the curtain to take a look at the secret histories of Eastern Europe and its tortured relations with the West. Neoliberalism and mass migration, post-punk and the Bowiephile obsession with the Eastern Bloc, Orientalism and 'self-colonisation', the emancipatory potentials of Socialist Realism, the possibility of a non-Western idea of modernity and futurism, and the place of Eastern Europe in any current revival of 'the idea of communism' – all are much more complex and surprising than they appear.

Agata’s book ‘Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West’ (2014, Zero Books) refuses both a dewy-eyed Nostalgia for the 'good old days' and the equally desperate desire to become a 'normal part of Europe', reclaiming instead the idea of an Other Europe.

BOOK LAUNCH
‘Para-academia’
with Deborah Withers, Alex Wardrop, and Charlotte Cooper
Saturday 6th December, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


'Academia is dying, and in the process compulsively crushes the desires for learning, creating, teaching, cooperating it claimed to foster', Isabelle Stengers writes as endorsement for The Para-Academic Handbook: A Toolkit for making-learning-creating-acting, a unique collection exploring the margins of contemporary academia.


The book collects global perspectives of people who feel connected, in different ways, to the practice of para-academia. Those people who work alongside, beside, next to, and rub up against the proper location of the Academy, making the work of higher education a little more irregular and perverse.


This event will discuss the perils, possibilities and necessities of para-academic practice. It will explore how alternatives to the marketised university can not only be sustained, but also flourish. Speakers include editors of the collection Deborah Withers and Alex Wardrop, and contributor Charlotte Cooper.

Published by Hammer On Press www.hammeronpress.net


TALK
‘Afghanistan: Mission Accomplished? The legacy of 14 years of war’
with Maya Evans
Wednesday 10th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


After 14 years British forces have officially concluded their war in Afghanistan, but what is the legacy of the conflict?

 

Maya Evans has now visited Afghanistan three times over the last three years during which she lived and work with a non-violent Afghan youth group who campaign for peace and grassroots change. During her trips Maya visited refugee camps, health facilities, NGOs, journalists and moreover ordinary Afghans, giving her political analysis a grassroots perspective.

Her previous campaigning against the Afghan war has included a High Court enquiry into the British treatment of Afghan detainees, as well as a prison sentence for protests relating to a NATO bombing of an Afghan wedding party.

Maya is the Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK 

www.vcnvuk.wordpress.com



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